Saltaire Village, World Heritage Site
Image by Dan Bailey




Saltaire Village World Heritage Site
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Added to website: 01 August 2013
An exhibition at Salts Mill: CLOTH & MEMORY 2

From 18 August to 3 November 2013

Cloth holds the memory of our time and connects us with the memories of other times and other places…

For more information visit:

Caren Garfen
Image: Caren Garfen's work

Cloth and Memory 2 will be a site-specific exhibition located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Salts Mill, Saltaire Yorkshire UK, which is also an anchor point in the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The exhibition will feature 23 artists drawn from a UK and international cohort and will run from August 18th to November 3rd 2013.

Cloth and Memory 2 builds on knowledge gained in our first exhibition, however it will be a very different experience. It will be in the original Spinning Room (known as The Lobby), which at 168m x 16m, when first built was thought to be the largest industrial room in the world. Apart from a new roof, it has not been restored or refurbished, and is not normally open to the public. The extraordinary internal architecture with its peeling walls and floors still retain the marks and smells of its original use.

An international group of artists were invited to visit Salts in order to propose work as a response to the site. From these proposals 23 artists were selected: 14 from the UK, 7 from Japan, 1 from Germany, 1 from Norway, representing emerging, early career and established artists. All the proposed works engage with the palpable history of place that is evident at Salts Mill and The Lobby in particular, and range from large scale interventions in space to highly intimate placings within the fabric of the building.

Cloth and Memory 2 will use that universal familiarity with cloth to connect audience, place and artist within this heritage building in the heart of an area central to textile production during the industrial revolution and, by so doing, extend contemporary practice in the field.

Artist, Caren Garfen's beautiful installation is based on the lives of actual women from Saltaire drawn from the 1891 Census. It comprises of approximately 200 vintage wooden reels attached to the wall, each with its own 'memory plaque' label and an 'S' for Salts and Silver, some also have ribbon wrapped round with hand stitched addresses or researched texts. The installation has been enhanced by research into the lives of the women, undertaken by local historian, Colin Coates of the Saltaire History Club. Colin has written up the potted histories of some of the women, available to read in a booklet alongside Caren's installation. More histories will be added, week by week. Colin can be contacted via email:

If you haven't been to this exhibition, you're missing a treat. It's atmospheric, informative and thought provoking. You also get the chance to see part of Salts Mill not usually accessible to the public.




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